Posts tagged ‘Garlic’

October 16, 2011

Roast and Toast

I had high hopes for this concoction.  It was supposed to grace our thanksgiving table.  After trial number one, I’m not so sure.  Perhaps after some more tweaking it will make the cut.

It was inspired by one of my favorite turkey day dishes that my mom makes.  It’s a tasty dish that includes sweet potatoes, apples, butter, brown sugar and walnuts.  After being baked, it’s all gooey and delicious.


I took that and added more veggies and seasoning.  In my mix:

Vegetables and Fruit

  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • ½  onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, pealed and chopped
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash (or as we call it, squish), peeled and cubed
  • 3 beets, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large apple, peeled and sliced



  • ¼ teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 grinds of sea salt
  • 2 grinds pepper
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed


  1. Cut everything to approximately the same size
  2. Toss in olive oil to coat
  3. Mix seasoning and toss everything to coat
  4. Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 1 hour or until golden brown and tender; toss about half way through cooking time


When I was slightly disappointed by this concoction, I realized that I really wanted it to be a sweet dish.  In fact it was quite spicy!  I plan to make some changes to bring it closer to it’s roots of our traditional thanksgiving dish.  Maybe then, if there’s room in the oven, it will make the cut.  The seasoning would change by replacing the chili flakes with a bit less chili powder to provide just a tiny kick of spice; maybe an 1/8 teaspoon?  I’d decrease the garlic to maybe just 4 cloves?  Parsnips would go.  They are too much like potato and I got enough starchiness from the sweet potato.  I’d also decrease the onion to a 1/4 an onion, again to cut down on savory-ness.  Walnuts would be tossed in, perhaps a 1/2 cup.  Most importantly I’d use butter instead of olive oil.  There is just such a deliciousness in butter that can’t be replaced, especially around the holidays!


So there you have it.  Not every dish is a picture of perfection!  Stay tuned for Roast and Toast round 2.  Smile

What do you do with recipe flops?  Do you tweak and try again, or just forget it and move on to new dishes?


October 10, 2011


Have I ever told you that I can’t follow a recipe to save my life?!  I can’t.  Absolutely not.

Tonight I tried.  Again.  I frequently enter dinner prep fully prepared to follow a recipe.  The cook book is out.  I have all the ingredients.  I am ready!


That’s how tonight started.  I was making a veggie curry dish from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cook book.  I bought ingredients that were very specific to this recipe.  Lemon.  Cauliflower.  Red bell pepper.  I even bought…ginger root!  Seriously.  I have never bought this in my life.  I’m not even a huge fan of ginger, but I thought if I wanted the full effect of the recipe, I better buy it.

As far as ingredients go, the only part I drifted on was the curry paste.  I happened to have some peanut sauce already in the house that I’ve been wanting to use.  HA!  I don’t know why this didn’t tip me off that I was yet again going to treat this recipe merely as a suggestion of what foods to combine and cook.


It’s was all downhill from there.  Don’t feel like peeling ginger and chopping garlic, eh, throw the big chunks in.  Wok too full to use all the cauliflower, oh well, just use half.  Green peppers from the garden that need to be eaten, ok, replace some of the red peppers with those.  Mistakenly think you have diced tomatoes, but you don’t, it’s fineeeeeeeee, use crushed.  Get my point?

I drift and I drift and I drift.  Eventually I have a completely different meal than what I set out to make.  Sometimes it’s a success.  Sometimes, not so much.

Tonight, huge success.


I’m going to call it….

Veggie Stir Fry with Tomato Peanut Sauce

Heavily inspired by Jamie Oliver.  And please do check out the real recipe.  It too looks delicious.

  • 1 red bell pepper, chunked
  • 1 green bell pepper, chunked
  • 1 medium onion, chunked
  • 1 banana pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 thumb size piece ginger root, halved
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 large head cauliflower, pieced
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup peanut sauce
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon
  1. Sauté all peppers and onion in olive oil until just softened.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, and squash and sauté for a minute to begin to infuse flavor.
  3. Add cauliflower and chickpeas and toss everything to mix.
  4. Add peanut sauce, peanut butter, balsamic vinegar, crushed tomatoes, and water to make the sauce.
  5. Mix everything well, bring to a boil, and hope your pan isn’t  over flowing at this point!
  6. Reduce temperature and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until vegetables are softened to your liking.
  7. Serve over brown rice with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a squeeze of lemon.

I’ll warn you, it’s lots of chopping and not a quick meal, but it’s worth it.  I didn’t think it was while I was standing and chopping, but I can tell you now, it is!  And if you’re like Steve, a self proclaimed “sauce man,” you’ll really love it.


So thanks Jamie Oliver, for your inspiration.  You helped me remember how much I like cauliflower.  You helped me learn how nicely ginger can compliment a sauce.  And you helped me realize that a splash of lemon juice at the end of a meal really can make all the difference.

I knew there was a reason I bought cook books!

Tell me about your recipe following abilities!  Do you follow recipes to a tee or use them for inspiration?